Destiny, Human Potential, Financial Position
Issue 564 » January 15, 2010 - Muharram 27, 1431
Al-Hadid (The Iron) Sura 57: Verses 22-23
"No affliction occurs on the earth, or in your own persons, but it is recorded in a Book before We bring it to existence - doing so is surely easy for God. So that you may not grieve for what has escaped you, nor exult because of what God has granted you: God does not love anyone proud and boastful."
God records such acts out of His Eternal Knowledge and keeps them recorded, and then brings them into existence by His Power for many wise purposes - such as to punish the sinful as they deserve, or to warn them against their end, or to forgive the sins of believers or to promote the sinless to higher ranks.
The verse also includes a consolation for people in affliction. When we consider any misfortune in the light of Divine Destiny, or as an application of Divine Destiny, we may find rest and not feel the need to complain about it.
Destiny exists so that pious people do not ascribe their good acts to themselves and thereby become proud. Destiny exists so that the successful and the wealthy are not proud of their successes or wealth.
Past and present misfortune should be considered in the light of Destiny so that we do not grieve for what has befallen us and what we have not been able to obtain.
"The Quran: Annotated Interpretation in Modern English" - Ali Unal, pp. 1110, 1111
"Human beings are like ores containing silver or gold. Those who are promising and in leading positions in unbelief are better than others (in virtue) when they accept Islam and acquire a good understanding of it." [Bukhari, Muslim]
This hadith is very significant, especially with respect to education, which demands the imparting of insight and perceptiveness. Insight implies knowing each individual's character, potential, and shortcomings. Human beings are not alike in character, capacity, ambition, and taste. For example, they can be said to "contain coal, copper, silver, gold, and diamonds." The first step in providing a good education is to recognize individual potentialities and figure out how to develop them. Just as you cannot obtain gold from a coal mine, you cannot develop "copper" people into "gold" people. Conversely, if you try to extract copper via gold-ore extraction method, your efforts will be fruitless.
We also should note that those with great potential always distinguish themselves. For example, such leading opponents of Islam as Umar eventually embraced Islam and became leading figures of the Muslim community. This shows that their potential for virtue is refined an developed fully in the crucible of Islam.
"The Messenger of God: Muhammad" - Fethullah Gulen, pp. 116, 117
Solidify your financial position
The global recession of the last two years has shattered hopes of economic security for most people the world over. Keeping in mind that Allah is the Provider (Ar-Razzaq), start off by making a deep, sincere Dua asking God to increase your earnings in a Halal way. That can mean different things. It can translate into taking on a second job in your spare time or encouraging your older children to look for work, especially in the summer. On a larger level, it can include starting your dream business or even working with an existing one to strengthen it with your skills and talent, if not your capital.
If you're still in school, carefully consider your career path. While it's important to be passionate about what you do, a certain level of financial security is important for everyone to reach their potential in life. Research hot and upcoming fields, like green and sustainable development in all sectors, which big corporations are also seeking to fill with qualified personnel. Then see if you can marry your passion with a solid profession.
Remember that even with dire news about the shrinking job market, all Rizq, in all forms, is in the hands of Allah and He is in control of all things. We must do our part in thinking about the best way to earn that Rizq, then put our trust in Him to help us. And He will.
"7 goals to aim for in 2010" - Samana Siddiqui